Solar panel mandate for new houses not feasible right now with rising living costs, construction materials

File photo for illustration purposes only. Photo credit: Pixabay

KUCHING, April 28: The proposal to mandate the integration of solar power systems into new houses and buildings may not be ideal at this time, given the rising cost of living and construction prices which could further impact the selling prices of houses.

This is the opinion of Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok, who suggested that a voluntary programme with subsidies for the cost of installation or increased sell-back rates from individual producers to utility companies could be a more viable option.

Agreeing that the recent proposal to integrate solar power systems into new houses and buildings is a promising way to reduce environmental impact and cut down on utility bills, Sim, however, viewed that the initial installation cost can be prohibitively expensive for many, including developers.

“The installation of solar power systems comes with a net energy metering or two-way meter on individual houses and buildings.

“However, a cost analysis suggests that the initial cost of solar panels and the electricity generated against the set off of the present electricity rates may deter the demand for the installation of solar panels in private homes and offices,” he said in a statement today.

Sim Kiang Chiok

With that, Sim suggested that the Sarawak government consider providing subsidies for the solar power system to bring down the cost and so that there are positive economic benefits that would encourage more people to participate and transition to sustainable green energy generation.

“This would give people the opportunity to participate in renewable energy generation without causing financial strain on households and businesses,” he added.

Despite the challenges posed by high installation costs, Sim remained optimistic that as technology advances and costs decrease, solar energy will become more accessible to a wider range of consumers, promoting a more sustainable future for all.

On April 23, the Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, said Sarawak would soon adopt the integration of solar energy into housing projects, in line with the government’s commitment towards green energy.

With more details to be announced in May, Abang Johari said he had instructed Sarawak Energy to look into Sarawak having solar-powered smart homes where excess energy generated can be channelled back to the utility company.

He added that this green energy initiative will contribute towards environmental sustainability that will benefit future generations. — DayakDaily